If you're looking to build a deck for your home, your biggest decision aside from design is what material you should use. There are several options available, each with their advantages and drawbacks. Here are a few options to consider:
Even though there are many different types of materials to use, pressure-treated wood is most common, being used in approximately 75 percent of all new decks. The reason pressure-treated lumber is popular isn't a mystery: it's readily available, affordable, and easy to cut for use with nails or screws. One of the advantages of this material is that it is chemically treated to resist fungus, bugs, and rot. However, pressure-treated lumber can tend to be dimensionally unstable -- sometimes splitting, warping, and cracking. Additionally, if your deck is made from pressure-treated wood, it will need routine maintenance in the form of power washing and applying a wood-stain to preserve the deck every two to three years.
Redwood and Cedar
If you want to stay away from as many chemicals and preservatives as possible, natural woods like redwood and cedar are perfect for you. Redwood and other cedars are both sought after for their deep, rich color and natural look without the use of chemicals. Natural woods tend to stay healthy due to their oils and resistant properties. However, these resistant properties are related to how much heartwood is involved in your deck. Heartwood comes from the inner section of the tree and is very resistant to rot and decay. If you're looking for the most resistant and long-lasting variety of cedar, you'll want architect clear, custom cedar, architect knotty, or custom knotty.
Composite decking materials are made from a mixture of plastics and recycled wood materials. People choose composite decking for its durability, weight, and overall low maintenance needs. Although looks have come a long way, composites still have a reputation for looking “fake.” Over time, age will show and without proper reinforcement, composite decks are subject to sagging. Another thing to consider is the price which can be 60-70% more than traditional wood decking.
If you're interested in building a deck for your home in the Eugene or Springfield area, please give us a call. We're experts when it comes to building decks and can help you choose the best material for your project's needs. 541-767-1611
If you're considering adding accessibility features to your home, one of the more prominent features on the exterior is a ramp. Whether it's to your front door or getting from the back door out to your yard, ramps assist those in wheelchairs as well as those who have difficulty with stairs.
When it comes to construction of a ramp, there are several material options from which to choose. Here is a brief overview of those options so you can choose the material that will work best for your needs and your home's design.
By far, wood is the most popular choice for building a ramp. You can choose from a variety of wood types to match your preferred aesthetic. Be sure to include the addition of a non-slip surface. Even wood gets slippery when wet or icy. A handrail is also helpful so you don't accidentally go off the side of the ramp.
Second in popularity, aluminum ramps offer convenience and manufacturers often have a variety of configurations from which to choose. Aluminum ramps also typically come with textured surfaces so the addition of a non-slip surface is not necessary. One downside to aluminum is that they have the potential to be noisier than other materials.
Galvanized Steel Ramps
Galvanized steel ramps offer a nicer aesthetic than aluminum, and the open slotted material prevents the buildup of water, snow, ice, or dirt. One downside is that the openness can be pretty uncomfortable for bare feet and can cause issues for those wearing high-heeled shoes.
If you want the look and feel of a standard concrete walking surface, a poured concrete ramp could be right. You'll get a nice aesthetic with the reliability of a concrete surface for non-slip. Concrete is poured on flat surfaces that are then attached to a metal structure. It's a less permanent, affordable solution.
If you're considering adding a ramp to your home or even to your commercial space, we can help. The Fort Rock Construction team has been building ramps for residential and commercial properties in Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove and the surrounding areas. Please give us a call today to discuss your ramp project. 541-767-1611
If you're looking to do a kitchen remodel, one of the most prominent features will be your countertop. While beauty is a key consideration, it would be wise to also take into account the ease (or lack thereof) of maintenance. After all, not all countertops are created equally.
Hands down, engineered stone is the easiest to maintain as it is a solid surface solution, it won't stain, and it is non-porous. You can do just about anything to these countertops and the chance of any real damage is minimal. In addition, because engineered stone comes in an enormous array of colors and patterns, you can select one that meets your esthetic AND hides any imperfections such as minor scratches or marks. There are several popular brands and we can help select just the right option for your home.
Another popular option is laminate. But we're not talking laminate from the 70's or 80's. Today's laminate will make your head turn. It's incredibly versatile, less expensive than other options, and it has a 'wipe and go' maintenance plan. We'd be happy to show you today's laminate — you'd be amazed by the choices available.
Last, but not least, zinc makes for a beautiful, modern countertop with also low maintenance needs. While stainless steel will leave you wiping up every fingerprint, zinc darkens over time, developing a gorgeous patina. It is also non-porous and bacteria-resistant, needing only a quick wipe-down to be cleaned.
If you live in the Eugene, Springfield, or Cottage Grove area, we'd love to help you with your kitchen remodel. At Fort Rock Construction, we're experts at kitchen remodels and can help you turn your vision into reality. Give us a call today. 541-767-1611
One of the biggest decisions you will face during a kitchen or bathroom remodel is that of cabinet material. With so many options, it is helpful to know the pros and cons of each material. Speaking with an experienced contractor who can help guide you to an informed decision is another good step to take. We have compiled a list of different materials for you to use as a starting point when trying to make this choice.
Particleboard -- Particleboard is made by mixing wood particles, shavings, and sawdust. A bonding agent holds the mixture together, and the finished product is sometimes coated with wax or other finishes to give it a resistance to water and heat changes.
Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) -- Like particleboard, MDF is created by mixing a glue and sawdust. The mixture is formed into sheets and subjected to extreme pressure to form a dense board-like material. MDF is thus subject to similar pros and cons.
Plywood -- Because of its construction, plywood is stronger than the other types of manufactured wood on this list. Plywood is constructed by bonding layers together, each time rotating the new layer by 90 degrees to add strength and durability.
Solid wood -- Many species of solid wood are available for you to choose from. Each type of wood comes with a different grain, color, and texture. Choose the type of wood that best matches the aesthetic you are going for. Each type of wood is different; therefore, this pros and cons list is generalized.
This list is intended to give you a basic understanding of some of the most popular options on the market for cabinets. To learn more, call us to speak with one of our experienced contractors who will ensure that you pick the best material for the job. At Fort Rock Construction, we strive to help our customers in all aspects of their kitchen and bathroom remodels. We will help you create a space that you will want to spend time in.
For most people, the bathroom is one important room early in the morning and again, late at night. This is where you start your day and isn't it nice to know that you do it in style? If you've been thinking awhile about re-decorating your bathroom, now is the time to call your remodeling contractor.
For bathroom remodels, there's nothing trendier than a great bathroom sink. Gone are the days when you had to make do with a box cabinet complete with the standard sink. Now, your options for a new bathroom sink might leave you awestruck.
Trends in bathroom sinks
Bathroom sinks can be a standout feature in your home. Call Fort Rock Construction, your Eugene area home remodeler, today to make your bathroom look great! 541-767-1611
As a General Contractor, we've seen our share of styles and preferences for house design and interior decorating. In fact, throughout the Eugene-Springfield area, you can see homes exhibiting the best in modern design, homes with the charm of the Victorian period, and everything in between. Each has their place, and it's fun to work on homes from different eras. But, if you find yourself needing some inspiration, here are some home design trends that seem to be on fire.
1. Creative and functional use of space
More often than not homes are being designed to utilize every inch of space to its best use. Think "tiny home" necessity scaled to match your square footage. Examples of this include creative storage solutions, utilizing "dead space" in new ways, and giving areas of the home multiple purposes. Built-ins are a great way to make use of otherwise dead space. Drawers installed under stairs.
2. Warm metals vs. industrial finishes
This is one trend that seems to swing every decade or two. But, right now, warm metals are all the rage. Bring out your copper and gold fixtures, pots and pans, etc. These metals make a space feel welcoming and cozy while still maintaining a sense of elegance.
3. Matte appliance finishes
Up until recent times, the appliances in your home were flashy and somewhat attention grabbing. They were statement pieces in your kitchen, the envy in your laundry room, etc. But now, the goal is to have these appliances blend into your space. Matte finishes allow appliances to do just that — blend in. With this approach, we place the focus on the "life" in the room, not the giant refrigerator.
4. Cerused wood floors and cabinets
The trend lately is based on a technique introduced in the 1500's, whereas wood was 'limed' to expose the texture and grain. Today, people are using cerused wood throughout their homes and with their cabinets to get that old and worn look but with new wood.
5. Jewel tones
Regarding color, beige is out, out, out. Designers are choosing bolder colors for interiors to bring out the drama of each room. In fact, the 2017 Benjamin Moore color of the year is a deep amethyst color called Shadow. Juxtapose these colors with the soft pastels found in nature, and you'll have a winning palette.
6. Subway tiles
Subway tiles have been popular for a few years now, but they haven't lost any ground when it comes to tile selection. They can be bold or subtle, and the patterns you can create are endless. Concerning application, you can use subway tiles in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and even in other spaces like home offices and entertainment rooms.
7. Smart home features
With the tech world in which we live, the ability to integrate "smart" features into homes is appreciated. The trick is to make sure the technology you integrate is universal and long-lasting. For example, create charging stations with standard types of plug-ins vs. creating a solution for which only one type of device can work. You'll want to avoid what car manufacturers did when the iPod was popular — many created iPod specific cradles, so you had a place to set your device while driving. Not too long after, the iPod started changing sizes and connectors, and the cradles were no longer useful.
To discuss your home remodeling needs and ideas, please give us a call at 541-767-1611.
Tired of sneezing from those old, shag carpets with thirty years of dog hair and dander they’ve collected? Considering a home remodel and wondering what kinds of natural flooring are available? Many people who suffer from allergies, asthma, or have trouble breathing choose hardwood floors, but there are also other options out there. Many of our clients in Eugene, Oregon are more health conscious and environmentally aware about the products they choose. There is a rise in people wanting materials low in chemicals that can affect health and local ecology.
Using flooring made from natural materials produces better air quality in the home because there aren’t as many VOCs or volatile organic compound emissions. Traditional kinds of flooring contain binders, adhesives and sealants that are higher in VOCs. Many of the flooring option below also have the added benefit of being made from renewable resources or are recycled, and for those reasons are better for the environment.
Healthy kinds of flooring:
Hard wood flooring
Wood is easy to clean and great for people with allergies because they don’t collect dust. Oak, cherry, teak and walnut are favorite hardwood floors. There are brands out there that use binders that are low in VOC emissions, but it isn’t the standard.
Bamboo is stronger and more durable than hardwoods—if one buys good quality. Bamboo should harvested from plantation managed timber rather than the wild, produced with low VOC adhesives, and dried to withstand humid or dry climates. This will also help ensure it will be scratch resistant.
This is harder than the hardest of woods. It is durable and inexpensive. It is also good for the environment because the Eucalyptus tree grows fast and is highly renewable. It’s also low on VOC emissions.
Cork is harvested from the bark of cork oak trees and is a renewable resource. Cork is lightweight, an acoustic insulator (muffles sound), is soft to walk on, and recovers well from the weight of furniture. It is resistant to fire, mold, mildew, termites, gasses and liquids and is antimicrobial.
This kind of carpeting is made from natural materials such as wool, a wool-hemp blend, or grass blends like sea grass, sisal, linen or juke. Wool is water and fire resistant, and hemp is mold, mildew and pest resistant. The grass varieties are strong and naturally anti-static. On the downside, many of these natural-fiber carpets do not do well in bathrooms or environments that are constantly getting wet.
Stay tuned for next month’s blog post on other natural and salvaged materials that are good for your health and the environment.
Have you considered creating a more contemporary bathroom but are unsure where to start? It’s difficult to understand exactly where you can add bathroom accessories without it seeming like “a bit much”. At the end of the day, all you want a new, clean look without overdoing it. Here are some modern examples of bathroom accessories you can add at an affordable cost.
Even though there are many different types of materials to use, pressure-treated wood is used in approximately 75 percent of all new decks. The reason PT lumber is popular isn't a mystery: it's readily available, affordable, and easy to cut for use with nails or screws. PT lumber starts out by being milled from Southern Yellow Pine and then chemically treated to resist fungus, bugs, and rot. Most people buy PT wood in two by six and and one-and-a-quarter by six inch dimensions. You might be wondering why wouldn't purchase pressure-treated lumber, but the reason being is it isn't dimensionally stable. That means that it has a tendency to split, warp, and crack. Additionally, if your deck is made from pressure-treated wood, it will need routine maintenance in the form of power washing and applying a wood-stain to preserve the deck every two to three years.
Redwood and Cedar
If you're someone who wants to stay away from as many chemicals and preservatives as possible, these natural woods are perfect for you. Redwood and other Cedars are both sought after for their deep, rich color and natural look without the use of chemicals. Natural woods are able to stay healthy due to their oils and resistant properties. However, these resistant properties are related to how much heartwood is involved in your deck. Heartwood comes from the inner section of the tree and is very resistant to rot and decay. As stated by the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, the four best grades of cedar for decking are architect clear, custom cedar, architect knotty, and custom knotty.
These woods get their name because they are typically from exotic locations and dense. They are naturally durable and resist both rot and wood-destroying insects. Tropical Hardwoods such as Philippine Mahogany, Cumaru, and Tigerwood are very heavy and difficult to drill, which is why they aren't a more popular choice. They can also be expensive when compared to the pressure-treated lumber mentioned above.
For any questions on which material to build your deck from, or if you're interested in a synthetic material, please contact us or call 541.767.1611 and we'll be happy to help.
Summer weather is upon us and that means you will most likely be turning on your home’s cooling systems. Here are some tips about your roof that can help save you money not only during the summer months, but also during the winter freeze as well. According to a survey done by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), almost half of the money spent on utility bills goes towards heating and cooling. A poorly insulated roof can allow too much heat into a home during the summer and allow that heat to leave when winter comes.
When considering which type of roof to place on your home you need to keep in mind your location and weather patterns. A dark-colored roof tends to absorb more heat which is better suited for colder climates. Conversely, a light-colored roof often reflects heat and sunlight and is better for warmer climates. If you already have a well-insulated roof and don’t want to spend the money on a new one, you can buy roof coatings which are designed to decrease the temperature on the surface of your roof by 50-80°F.
Finding the right roof type and insulation material is only half the battle. Choosing the right contractor for your needs is the other half and that’s where we can help. Fort Rock Construction is here to assist you with all of your construction related projects. To get started on your next project, please contact us!
Tricks of the construction trade, inspiration for your next project, and highlights of completed projects.